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I make 3 times more than my husband!


Marriage & Life Partnerships Debunking the old-ball-and-chain stereotype one couple at a time.

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Old 20th September 2017, 1:02 PM   #1
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I make 3 times more than my husband!

I have an issue right now with my husband. He is stuck in the same dead end job for 10 years now and makes only $42k a year for a salary. I have told him to try to find another job because he is always complaining about it but he doesn't think he has good enough skills.

For my employment, I do front end web developing and designing and know all the latest technology like React JS, Angular 4, UI/UX design, etc. I constantly get calls from recruiters because of my in demand skill set as a contractor. Because I am only a contractor, I qualify for low end benefits with my contracting company. Our family uses my husband's benefits instead, which are superior.

It bothers me that I make 3 times + more than my husband and wish he would try to find another job. It affects my marriage but I try to ignore the issue. Every so often, I will bring it up but we end up fighting about it.

My husband is so lazy and doesn't want to learn any new skills, he just wants to play video games when coming home. Me, on the other hand, is always trying to improve my skills by learning the latest technology.

I'm going to have to find another job soon due to a problem co-worker so we will lose quite a bit of household income when that happens. I wish he would step up and try to find another job that pays decently.

He has a computer science degree from a private university and does have quality programming skills. He just lacks self esteem and the willingness to look elsewhere. He is very loyal even when people at his job treat him like crap!

I know he could make way more money for our family to take off the burden from me. I have bipolar disorder and this co-worker at my job is affecting my mental health big time. I'm not sure how I can hold on at my job much longer.

If I left my job, we would not be able to pay the mortgage and would lose our house. I have a young son too that we need to provide for.

Growing up, I was taught that the man should provide for the family but I don't feel very provided for. We try to be equal in the relationship but I find it hard when I can make 3 times he does.

Any advice on how to get him to look for another job or learn new skills to benefit him?
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Old 20th September 2017, 1:40 PM   #2
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Well, I'm a self-employed single mom (independent contractor) and I have to tell you, I'd probably be OK with my husband making a less than ideal salary if he could provide all of us with "superior benefits." That's kinda huge to me since at the moment I have no health insurance at all. (My kids do, through their father).

If he didn't complain about his job and sit around playing games at home, or if you were happier in your situation and not looking to change jobs, would you feel differently?
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Old 20th September 2017, 1:43 PM   #3
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I ran into this problem as well when caregiving over a decade ago, or more precisely my exW did. She didn't like the choice I made to care for my mother at the cost to my business. Mother's dead and I divorced the wife and am infinitely more happy today.

You're a team that makes nearly two hundred grand a year before taxes. That's pretty cool. H apparently likes his routine. Not my cuppa but I respect those guys who do that. I was raised by one, a government wonk. Put in the time for the paycheck, went bowling on Fridays and watched the Lakers or Rams on the weekend. He outearned his wife who didn't get a paycheck at all by a zillion to one and didn't mind at all, rather gave every nickel to her to take care of.

To me, it's about fit. It sounds like your work/live and H's work/live styles are markedly different. Compromise is important in marriage. What are you willing to compromise on after listening to H's side? I learned the side thing in MC, as well as the listening thing. You up for that, doing the side thing with a professional psychologist? How about H? Worth a try.
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Old 20th September 2017, 2:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CautiouslyOptimistic View Post
Well, I'm a self-employed single mom (independent contractor) and I have to tell you, I'd probably be OK with my husband making a less than ideal salary if he could provide all of us with "superior benefits." That's kinda huge to me since at the moment I have no health insurance at all. (My kids do, through their father).

If he didn't complain about his job and sit around playing games at home, or if you were happier in your situation and not looking to change jobs, would you feel differently?
Probably so. I been ignoring the problem for a long time now but I am having issues at my job because of this co-worker. I wake up in the middle of the night and have anxiety attacks.

I'm worried I will end up like my mother, who ended up homeless with schizophrenia and then in group homes. Luckily, my illness isn't that severe but there are times when I feel so depressed I have suicidal thoughts.

It puts more stress on me knowing that he could not care for us all if something happened to me. I know he could find a higher paying position if he just made the effort. Then, I could afford to find a job part time or work lesser hours.

I am thankful for what we have so don't think I am not. Due to my health, I know this can't last much longer. My mom lost it when she was 40 and I'm 35.
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Old 20th September 2017, 2:42 PM   #5
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I ran into this problem as well when caregiving over a decade ago, or more precisely my exW did. She didn't like the choice I made to care for my mother at the cost to my business. Mother's dead and I divorced the wife and am infinitely more happy today.

You're a team that makes nearly two hundred grand a year before taxes. That's pretty cool. H apparently likes his routine. Not my cuppa but I respect those guys who do that. I was raised by one, a government wonk. Put in the time for the paycheck, went bowling on Fridays and watched the Lakers or Rams on the weekend. He outearned his wife who didn't get a paycheck at all by a zillion to one and didn't mind at all, rather gave every nickel to her to take care of.

To me, it's about fit. It sounds like your work/live and H's work/live styles are markedly different. Compromise is important in marriage. What are you willing to compromise on after listening to H's side? I learned the side thing in MC, as well as the listening thing. You up for that, doing the side thing with a professional psychologist? How about H? Worth a try.

We had been going to counseling due to communication issues but stopped since we couldn't get a sitter. I got tired of constantly cancelling the appointments when the sitter canceled on us at the last minute.

He says that he lacks self esteem and the necessary skills to find a better job. His current job has rendered him into a "dinosaur" with skills that are not very marketable today. They use an old system there that he is very used to by now. He is constantly complaining but when I mention to find another job, he stops and changes the subject.

I wish he would think more like your father. I would love to be able to raise our son at home. I barely get any time with him except on the weekends. The baby boy is growing so fast and is almost 2! I miss when I was on (unpaid) maternity leave for 3 months while he was a newborn.
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Old 20th September 2017, 2:58 PM   #6
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Sometimes you have to remember the balance between different things you get from a job. You've mentioned that his job has great benefits. I know my benefits are worth over 15K per year, and I can imagine good benefits in America could be worth even more when you factor in your health care.

I don't make as much as I would at a different place, but my benefits and job security make up for it.

Still $40K sounds very low for an experienced programmer with a degree. I sure have never heard of anyone charging such a low cost. But maybe the trade off of him having a more stable higher benefit job and you have a more unstable but higher paying job isn't the worst trade off.
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Old 20th September 2017, 4:05 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by newlywedder View Post
We had been going to counseling due to communication issues but stopped since we couldn't get a sitter. I got tired of constantly cancelling the appointments when the sitter canceled on us at the last minute.

He says that he lacks self esteem and the necessary skills to find a better job. His current job has rendered him into a "dinosaur" with skills that are not very marketable today. They use an old system there that he is very used to by now. He is constantly complaining but when I mention to find another job, he stops and changes the subject.

I wish he would think more like your father. I would love to be able to raise our son at home. I barely get any time with him except on the weekends. The baby boy is growing so fast and is almost 2! I miss when I was on (unpaid) maternity leave for 3 months while he was a newborn.
Well, I can kinda relate to your husband's anxiety about looking for a new job since I'm sortof in the same boat, and it's hard for others to understand it. Although in my case, I have folks who know nothing about the industry I work in telling me how much better I can do, and there are a lot of other factors going into it all, such as the fact my only client is a family member. But, I digress!

With that said, I totally get where you're coming from with your additional post. It sounds like if he would at least make the effort, even if he doesn't find anything, you may have some relief from your anxiety. It doesn't really sound like he's going to find a job that will enable you to be a SAHM unless you drastically change the lifestyle you're currently used to on two incomes. But, I can see how him getting at least a better job could take some pressure off you in case you "do" get sick like your mom. I'm hoping you are in therapy for all of this anxiety.
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Old 20th September 2017, 4:11 PM   #8
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Was this the income split when you married? If so, why did you marry him if this was a problem. You say you have bipolar disorder. Are you being treated? Do you have bipolar rages? When was your last episode? Could that be part of the problem with your coworker?

You say your husband has low self esteem. Does he know how disappointed you are in him and how lazy you think he is? If so, it's no wonder he has low self esteem.
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Old 20th September 2017, 5:04 PM   #9
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No wonder he has low self esteem. His wife thinks he is a loser.


$42k is a respectable income; yet you scoff at it.


If you start telling him how much you love him as a person & how smart you think he is, without mention of his degree, his job skills, his employment & definitively not his salary, he may feel more empowered to venture out. Every time you mention the earnings disparity you emasculate him & deaden another little piece of his heart.


Act like you are a team -- meaning you are in this together & that you are willing to find a way to make it work with less money -- then you may see results.


You may have bi-polar disorder but that is your medical condition. Your co-worker didn't cause it. If you think the co-worker is a problem complain to management that you are being discriminated again under the American's with Disabilities Act but don't quit your job & then cry that your standard of living suffered through some fault of your husbands.
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Old 20th September 2017, 7:17 PM   #10
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So the life and responsibilities you are carrying as a burden you want to thrust upon your husband so you can wash your hands of it and sit at home and do nothing?

This sounds like an awful marriage and it's no wonder he has no desire or confidence to better himself.

Last edited by LoveShack.org Moderator; 20th September 2017 at 9:10 PM.. Reason: Rude ~6
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Old 20th September 2017, 7:30 PM   #11
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Your husband's self esteem issues will not improve if you keep pointing out how little he earns. For most men, making far less than their female partners is a huge blow to their masculinity. Unfortunately, your comments and attitude are not improving the situation.

If your husband is not willing to find a more lucrative position, then you will need to divorce him so that both of you can be happier in the long run. Men need respect and appreciation to feel loved. It sounds like you will only be able to respect your husband if he's earning more income. It's not like your husband is working for minimum wage....at least he's earning a salary and providing benefits for your family.

In the meantime, I hope you are medicated for your bipolar disorder and seeing a therapist.
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Old 20th September 2017, 9:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by newlywedder View Post
We had been going to counseling due to communication issues but stopped since we couldn't get a sitter. I got tired of constantly cancelling the appointments when the sitter canceled on us at the last minute.

He says that he lacks self esteem and the necessary skills to find a better job. His current job has rendered him into a "dinosaur" with skills that are not very marketable today. They use an old system there that he is very used to by now. He is constantly complaining but when I mention to find another job, he stops and changes the subject.

I wish he would think more like your father. I would love to be able to raise our son at home. I barely get any time with him except on the weekends. The baby boy is growing so fast and is almost 2! I miss when I was on (unpaid) maternity leave for 3 months while he was a newborn.
Why didn't you and your husband discuss your goal of being a SAHM before marriage?

If you wanted to stay home with your son, it didn't make sense to marry a man who didn't earn enough to support a family.
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Old 20th September 2017, 11:20 PM   #13
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OP, I must admit that I cringed reading your original post. My ex made 3X more than I did, but never made an issue of it. We were equal in every way when it came to finances, household responsibilities, etc. I really admired my ex regarding that part of our relationships.

$42K is not bad. At all. But I do understand that you feel that your husband is under-achieving. I wonder if his lack of motivation is not partly due to your lack of support? I would imagine that there was something exciting about him when you first started dating or early on in the marriage. What do you think happened since then?

You both currently make, what(?), $160K per year? What kind of house did you two invest in that would be jeopardized if you lost your $120K per year job? I suspect that you are not planning to drop out of the job market, right? Like others, if you were thinking of becoming a SAHM, with your husband's current salary, why wasn't this seriously thought out and discussed?

My ex never made me feel inadequate. Never. She was supportive of my career and always encouraged me. She was very happy with what I did and made every effort to support me when my job stunk at times. That support and encouragement never compelled me to try to find a job that made more money, rather, one that provided more satisfaction.

I don't know the whole story, but perhaps you should have a heart to heart and discuss how you could support your husband in this? Talk about your concerns and how you two can tackle them as a partnership?
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Old 21st September 2017, 6:28 AM   #14
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There is not much you can do to make him get another job, but as others have suggested, you can improve his self esteem by building him up rather than tearing him down. Instead of focusing on the negative (you believe he is lazy and under-employed) focus on his strengths and tell him what you are proud of and love about him. You could also try helping him find another job tailored to his skills. Specialists in older systems may have less demand, but also low supply, and are sometimes able to charge more for their skills for that reason.

Another thing you can do is work with your husband to become more secure financially, to help ease your anxiety. You are focused on the income aspect of it, but in reality, with a combined income of about $200k, it should be possible for you to build up your savings such that you don't need to worry about a potential job loss forcing you to be out of work for a while. Look at your budget and figure out what you can cut. I know plenty of families that are able to live comfortably on much less than you're making together. Decrease your spending, and your husbands salary will start looking better in comparison.
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Old 21st September 2017, 7:00 AM   #15
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Getting a job that pays more is not easy.
Easy to say but in reality it can be hard.
Easy to say go back to school and ignore
school is not for everyone.

Easy to ignore that a resume will not be
good enough to get that coveted job.

The lack of social skills and getting a relationship
is talked about all the time on LS. Well
the same lack of social skills keeps people
from advancing in their careers.

There are countless reasons why people
are not financially successful. Missed
opportunities. Wrong place at the wrong time.

You cannot make a silk purse from a cow's ear.
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